What Real Estate Agents are Missing: 2021 IDX Report


Does this story sound familiar? A marketing agency calls a Realtor with big promises, shows them a few pretty-looking websites, takes their credit card, and the results are minimal if any. Too many real estate agents have wasted thousands of dollars on websites that fail to deliver. A new report shows why this happens and gives real estate agents the knowledge to make better, wiser decisions that will actually grow their business.

What is IDX

IDX stands for interactive data exchange, which means it is a system that enables real estate agents to share their listings with multiple websites and search engines.

There are many IDX providers in the industry such as Showcase IDX, iHomeFinder, IDX Broker, and smaller or custom-built ones by marketing agencies. 

2021 IDX and Home Search Report 

The report surveyed 135,000+ consumers and examined 16 IDX providers to give an insight into the future of real estate technology. They found that the majority (60%) of people start their home search with google, but this doesn’t always help because many Realtors do not rank well on Google or use poorly optimized websites for their potential clients. 

The top reasons are: 

  • Using an outdated or poor performing IDX plugin
  • Not using keywords in content – keyword research is not part of building a website. 
  • Work with a real estate marketing agency that still builds websites like they did 10 years ago
  • Poor navigation systems which make it hard for would-be buyers to find information like pricing guidelines or contact forms from agents who work at.

Why Search engine optimization matters for real estate websites

There are over 200 million people using Google every day. You need to rank on the first page of search results if you want your customers to find you. If they can’t find your website, then they’ll close their browser and go somewhere else – anywhere but a competitor’s site! This is why SEO matters for real-estate websites: because without traffic from google search, there will be no business at all.

Our agency has been working hard to make sure our clients have well-optimized sites so we were excited when this report came out. 

A website your clients will actually use

Companies like Agent Image, Agent Elite, Easy Agent Pro, Brandco, iHouseweb, and others have been known names in real estate for many years. The problem is that many of them rely on outdated tools like IDX Broker or iHomefinder. Others like Luxury Presence have tried building their own IDX and home search but these proprietary home searches and older plugins just cannot compete against modern home portals. 

Zillow spent $25 million on taking in data from the MLSs initially, according to industry sources. That does not include the ongoing millions it costs to work with the data annually or to build and maintain the tools for consumers to actually search for homes. 

While some of the known “names” in real estate websites will use more modern tools to build and maintain an agent’s website, many are limited by past arrangements. That has created an avenue for many new independent marketing agencies and web developers to enter the industry.

IDX Broker vs Showcase IDX vs iHomeFinder vs RealtyNA

The report walks through the 16 most used IDX providers and examines many of the all-in-one platforms as well. 

“Showcase IDX stood out above any other IDX plugin overall, significantly outperforming in terms of client retention on agent websites and the ability to rank in Google, especially from an ROI standpoint. All-in-One platforms kVcore and Real Geeks scored 2nd and 3rd overall but at a much higher annual price than owning your own website.”

“Showcase IDX is the best IDX software across both plugins and all-in-one platforms, including map search, a great mobile polygon search, lead routing, 9 lead generation CTAs (call-to-action), and more features. It does not use iFrames or subdomains and works in a way that makes it easy to rank community pages on Google, if you put in the work. Showcase IDX retains 9.8x more clients than IDX Broker and 4x more clients than the typical iHomeFinder website, in our study. They do not have coverage of every MLS though. If you’re one of the 1M+ agents that they cover, you have access to the best-performing IDX home search. “

See the: 

Click here to read the full 2021 IDX report.


Jeffrey Rabinowitz